Louisiana sports betting will be up and running by college bowl season: ex-regulator says
Sports betting will possibly be up and running in Louisiana by college bowl season at the end of this year, former Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) Chairman Ronnie Jones said.
Jones, who served as the LGCB’s chairman from 2013 to the summer of 2020, said that it would take several more months for people in Louisiana to be able to place bets on the sports and teams of their preference as a lot of administrative work still needs to be done.
Expressing his views in an interview on KEEL Radio, the ex-regulator said that betting on sports events should become a reality in the state by the time college bowl games are underway in December 2021. At the state’s legislative session that ended in June this year at the Capitol in Baton Rouge, some lawmakers had also expressed hope that sports betting would take effect by the start of football season.
Earlier this year, state lawmakers approved bills to allow sports betting in the 55 of 64 parishes where voters voted in favor of sports betting legalization in the November election last month. The bills have already been signed into a law by Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), but the LGCB has yet to set rules to regulate the industry.
Mr. Jones said that the regulatory work to implement the new gaming law is in motion, and there is no “political capital” to be gained by slowing down the process to bring the new law into effect.
Speaking on the topic, he said, “There is no political capital to be gained by slowing down the process to get sports betting off the ground. I’m optimistic that this is well underway, and I think we’re going to see sports betting by the end of the football season.”
Football is very popular in Louisiana, with large fan bases for the National Football League’s (NFL’s) New Orleans Saints and the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA’s) Louisiana State University Tigers. Regular season play is scheduled to open in September, with Bowl games slated to be played in December 2021 and January 2022.
Once the sports betting law gets implemented, betting enthusiasts will be able to place bets on sports and teams of their choice through sportsbooks at casinos and via mobile devices like smartphones. Kiosks in specific bars and restaurants will also allow bettors to put their money down on live games.
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